Category Archive: 5) Global Macro

Bloomberg Interview with Jeffrey Snider

Why Eurodollars Might Be Key to the Market Sell-Off (Podcast). There’s a huge market out there that doesn’t get much attention: Eurodollars. These have nothing to do with the euro-dollar exchange rate. Instead, eurodollars are U.S. dollar-denominated deposits at foreign banks and overseas branches of American banks.

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Another ‘Highest In Ten Years’

Upon the precipice of the Great “Recession”, US workers were cushioned to some extent by what economists call sticky wages. Before the Great Depression, as well as during it, companies would attempt to deal with looming economic contraction by cutting pay rates before workers.

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Why Is Social Media So Toxic?

The desire to improve our social standing is natural. What's unnatural is the toxicity of doing so through social media. It seems self-evident that the divisiveness that characterizes this juncture of American history is manifesting profound social and economic disorders that have little to do with politics. In this context, social media isn't the source of the fire, it's more like the gasoline that's being tossed on top of the dry timber.

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Globalization Has Hollowed Out Rural America

What do we make of an economy in which a handful of bubblicious urban areas are magnets for jobs and capital while rural communities have been hollowed out? The short answer is that this progression of urbanization has been one of the core dynamics of civilization for thousands of years: opportunities are greater in cities, and so people move from rural areas with few opportunities to cities with greater opportunities.

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What’s the Real Meaning of the Stock Market Swoon?

Economy has reached peak earnings so there's no fundamentals-driven upside left. Bond yields are now high enough to dampen enthusiasm for inherently risky stocks. Central banks curtailing / ending their quantitative easing programs have reduced liquidity in the financial system. US markets are catching up to the rest of the world's market slump.

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Monthly Macro Monitor – October 2018 (VIDEO)

Economic thoughts and analysis from Alhambra Investments CEO Joe Calhoun.

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No Such Thing As An 80 percent Boom

Many attribute the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats” to President John Kennedy. He may have been the man who brought it into the mainstream but as his former speechwriter Ted Sorenson long ago admitted it didn’t originate from his or the President’s imagination. Instead, according to Sorenson, it was a phrase borrowed from the New England Chamber of Commerce or some such.

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Monthly Macro Monitor – October 2018

Stocks have stumbled into October with the S&P 500 down about 6% as I write this. The source of equity investors’ angst is always hard to pinpoint and this is no exception but this correction doesn’t seem to be due to concerns about economic growth. At least not directly.

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The Coming Inflation Threat

Falling asset inflation plus rising cost inflation equals stagflation. Inflation is a funny thing: we feel it virtually every day, but we’re told it doesn’t exist—the official inflation rate is around 2.5% over the past few years, a little higher when energy prices are going up and a little lower when energy prices are going down.

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Mutiny, Class, Authority and Respect

Humiliation and fear of a catastrophic decline in status foment mutiny and rebellion. I recently finished The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty, a painstakingly researched history of the mutiny, but with a focus on how the story was shaped by influential families after the fact to save the life of one mutineer, Peter Haywood, and salvage the reputation of the leader, Fletcher Christian, via a carefully orchestrated character...

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Is the Greatest Bull Market Ever Finally Ending? (Hint: Follow the Money)

The key here is the gains generated by owning US-denominated assets as the USD appreciates. Is the Greatest Bull Market Ever finally ending? One straightforward approach to is to follow the money, i.e. global capital flows: assets that attract positive global capital flows will continue rising if demand for the assets exceeds supply, and assets that are being liquidated as capital flees the asset class (i.e. negative capital flows) will decline in...

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Raining On Chinese Prices

It was for a time a somewhat curious dilemma. When it rains it pours, they always say, and for China toward the end of 2015 it was a real cloudburst. The Chinese economy was slowing, dangerous deflation developing around an economy captured by an unseen anchor intent on causing havoc and destruction. At the same time, consumer prices were jumping where they could do the most harm.

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Inflation Environment remains Benign in China

The headline consumer price index (CPI) in China picked up slightly in September, rising by 2.5% year-over-year (y-o-y) compared with 2.3% in August, driven by higher food price and fuel prices. Excluding food and energy, core inflation in China actually eased to 1.7% y-o-y in September from 2.0% in August.

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Just The One More Boom Month For IP

The calendar last month hadn’t yet run out on US Industrial Production as it had for US Retail Sales. The hurricane interruption of 2017 for industry unlike consumer spending extended into last September. Therefore, the base comparison for 2018 is against that artificial low. As such, US IP rose by 5.1% year-over-year last month. That’s the largest gain since 2010.

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Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Economy

The clock really was ticking on this so-called economic boom. A product in many economic accounts of Keynesian-type fantasy, the destructive effects of last year’s hurricanes in sharp contrast to this year’s (which haven’t yet registered a direct hit on a major metropolitan area or areas, as was the case with Harvey and Irma) meant both a temporary rebound birthed by rebuilding as well as an expiration date for those efforts.

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Here’s Why the Next Recession Will Spiral Into a Depression

Here's the difference between a recession and a depression: you can't get blood from a stone, or make an insolvent entity solvent with more debt. There are two basic differences between a recession and a depression: 1. Duration: a recession typically lasts between 6 and 18 months, while a depression drags on for years or even decades, often masked by official propaganda as "slow growth" or "stagnation."

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How Many Households Qualify as Middle Class?

By the standards of previous generations, the middle class has been stripmined of income, assets and purchasing power. What does it take to be middle class nowadays? Defining the middle class is a parlor game, with most of the punditry referring to income brackets as the defining factor.

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The Distortions of Doom Part 2: The Fatal Flaws of Reserve Currencies

The way forward is to replace the entire system of reserve currencies with a transparent free-for-all of all kinds of currencies. Over the years, I've endeavored to illuminate the arcane dynamics of global currencies by discussing Triffin's Paradox, which explains the conflicting dual roles of national currencies that also act as global reserve currencies, i.e. currencies that other nations use for global payments, loans and foreign exchange...

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The Global Distortions of Doom Part 1: Hyper-Indebted Zombie Corporations

The defaults and currency crises in the periphery will then move into the core. It's funny how unintended consequences so rarely turn out to be good. The intended consequences of central banks' unprecedented tsunami of stimulus (quantitative easing, super-low interest rates and easy credit / abundant liquidity) over the past decade were: 1.

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A Few Questions From Today’s BOND ROUT!!!!

On April 2, the benchmark 10-year US Treasury yield traded below 2.75%. It had been as high as 2.94% in later February at the tail end of last year’s inflation hysteria. But after the shock of global liquidations in late January and early February, liquidity concerns would override again at least for a short while. After April 2, the BOND ROUT!!!! was re-energized and away went interest rates.

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